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From my experiences, if you have a "confirmed" ticket most US Carriers do not require reconformation. If you do not have a seat assignment, however, or want to check the status of your flights, it can't hurt to call to get your seat assignment (usually starting w/in 24hrs of the flight) confirm flight times (especially if you booked well in advance as flight times often shift, if even slightly) or try for upgrades, if applicable. It's not necessary, but it can't hurt.
For example, KLM say that they no longer need passengers to reconfirm flights - yet when my partner flew with them to Accra last year he was told, on arrival, that he would absolutely have to reconfirm his flight back home.
I have not had to reconfirm flights in Europe or North America for at least ten years - with any schedule carrier. I believe that some seat-only charter arrangements still require reconfirmation for the homeward flight.
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I agree with Aviatrix: it depends on your departure point. I was in Cairo, having arrived there via Austrian Airlines (OS). They informed us upon disembarking that it was critical we reconfirm our return flights. This was more difficult than you think, but we pulled it off and had seats waiting for us.
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by robb: When I was on an Air India flight last year, the ticket agent did comment that I hadn't reconfirmed, but I was still allowed on the flight.
What exactly is the point of reconfirmaltion, and why would it be so necessary internationally, but unfeard of domestically?</font>
Air India does NOT require reconfirmation of reservations for passengers flying to/from ORD, JFK, EWR, LHR, CDG, FRA, NRT or KIX. All other destinations require you to reconfirm your reservations at least 72 hrs in advance.
The reason for this is that travel agents tend to make multiple speculative bookings on flights. It is not unusual to see flights oversold by 300% during peak season, but still go out with empty seats. Air India's extensive Middle East and SE Asian network is especially vulnerable to these kind of tactics. The reconfirmation allows the airline to get a more effective idea about space availability 72 hours out and to begin clearing waitlists.
Don't know if they still require it, but in 2000, Icelandair required us to reconfirm a few days before the flight. Unfortunately for us, I didn't see the notice to do this. On the day of our flight I called to request seat assignments and was told that our reservation had been canceled because we failed to reconfirm. The customer service rep then said that the flight was sold out. However, we were able to fly standby and fortunately they had exactly 2 no-shows, so we made the flight. It was a very nervewracking wait to find out though. Since then, I ALWAYS call to reconfirm, even if it is not required. The peace of mind is worth the call to me.
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I think we should all agree NEVER to fly an airline that requires re-confirmation for a paid and ticketed reservation. Ridiculous to inconvenience the customer with such nonsense in this day and age, especially as most people are not going to "blow off" non-refundable, non-changeable, non-cancellable tickets.
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Boraxo: I think we should all agree NEVER to fly an airline that requires re-confirmation for a paid and ticketed reservation. Ridiculous to inconvenience the customer with such nonsense in this day and age, especially as most people are not going to "blow off" non-refundable, non-changeable, non-cancellable tickets.</font>
I think Sean showed above a justifiable reason for reconfirming. You may have missed his post.
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Yes and some places don't have a lot of non-refundable tickets. That's mostly a U.S. thing. The reason you have to re-confirm in the middle east is that the flights on pretty much all airlines are heavily overbooked and people cancel at the last minute.